Confession: I’ve been wanting to write this post for a really long time now. In hindsight, I totally should’ve shared this guide eight months ago, back when spent my vacation in Tbilisi hunting for the coolest clothing stores in town. This was my first time explore my hometown from a fashion perspective. Then again, it was my first time visiting my hometown as a twenty-something-year old, and even more specifically, a twenty-something gal obsessed with the latest in style.
Point is, this is long overdue. But alas, as they say — better late than never.
I’ll also preface this by saying that there’s a lot to experience in the city. (Food! History! More food!) Unless you’re specifically flying out for the fashion, I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time hitting up those flashy shopping malls. (Really, the Zara there isn’t all that much different from the Zara back home, so don’t waste valuable vacay hours there). Instead, try to weave these four unique, independent boutiques into your travel itinerary.
1 – More Is Love
If you aren’t looking for it, you won’t find it. But I’m here to to tell you that you should most definitely be looking for this tucked-away, gem of a boutique—for a few reasons. First off, it houses a wide swath of brands. Most of the designers featured here are Georgian, but you’ll also see some breathtaking garb from international labels like Nanushka, Kimhekim and Flow The Label, as well as killer heels from Australian-based brand, By Far. Not to mention, the store itself is just stunning. I could spend hours here just browsing everything it has to offer! (And I totally did just that when I was there). Once you’re done giving your wallet a workout of a lifetime, wind down at Iveria Cafe, which boasts spectacular views of the city and is less than a five-minute walk away.
Address: 14, 0108 Leo Kiacheli St, T’bilisi
2 – Matériel
Matériel is one of the coolest labels coming out of Tbilisi at the moment. (And even though the brand recently amassed an international following, you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s been around for quite some time now—since 1949, to be exact.) If you think the brand’s Instagram page is swoon-worthy, you should pop into their brick-and-mortar store on Kote Apkhazi Street. Bonus points: Make a day out of it and stroll through Dzveli Tbilisi (Translation: Old Tbilisi). The area is just bursting at the seams with so many beautiful, crumbling old buildings that are rich with history and culture.
Address: 22/19 Kote Apkhazi St, T’bilisi
3 – Dots
You’ll be hard-pressed to miss this one. It’s just a hop and a skip away from Materiel. (No, I mean it. It’s right next door). Helmed by the same creative team behind Materiel, this sister brand specializes in trendy, down-to-earth merch at more affordable price points. Another thing Dots is known for: childrenswear. Yup, your kiddos can finally have the outfits they need to out-style Suri Cruise. (Which is by no means an easy task. That tot is as fashionable as they come). After you’re done with all the shopping, pop into the adjacent Dots Cafe for a hot cuppa and a slice of pie.
Address: 22 Kote Apkhazi St, T’bilisi
4 – The Shops on Paliashvili Street
Paliashvili Street boasts a string of boutiques that are definitely worth a visit. Take, for example, Mach & Mach, a fun, futuristic brand that’s sort of a beacon for fresh Georgian creativity. (Think: lots of glittery elements, metallic details and plenty of glamour). Just a stone’s throw away, you’ll find designer Aka Nanitashvili namesake brand, Aka Nanita. The store touts an impressive edit of Aka’s designs, which, by the way, are totally worth splurging your hard-earned dollars on. (I mean, did you see this dress on Priyanka Chopra? One word: divine). All to say, if you hop off your cab here, you won’t be sorry.